March 18, 2019 – Day 371

I called the Bastrop Vet Hospital and told them what was going on. They said bring him and they would observe him, take xrays, take blood and the doctor would see him at the end of the day and they would call me. They called late, like about 5:30 and said I could come pick him up! Praise God. The doctor said he has herniated disk and they would put him on predisone for about 2 weeks then he should be walking with no pain or problem.

The entire bill was high–like $335.00 high (but you know, anything no matter the amount, for Joey)! I put the prescription of predisone in my purse and as soon as we got home, I read the bottle. It said 1/2 tablet 3 times a day. I was like dang, that sounds like a lot for a little dude. Anyway, I gave him 1/2 then, 1/2 the next morning and since I’m not there for the noon dose, as soon as I walked in the door from work, I gave him another 1/2 dose. Well he didn’t seem to be doing much better AT ALL, but he was really tired, so I thought the predisone was making him sleepy, which keeps him off of  his legs and he’ll get better. Then when I went to give him his bedtime dose, I realized the pill bottle I had taken out of my purse the day before was my Clonazepam bottle and not his pill bottle. So instead of those 3 doses being Prednisone, he was drugged up with anxiety medicine. I bet he wasn’t able to hold his head up all day. This is what I saw when I got home. I’m sure Connie thought he was dead but she laid right beside him watching over that sweet baby!

March 17, 2019, St. Patrick’s Day – Day 370

Kathy MacDonald invited me and anyone I wanted to bring with me to The Salt Lick Wine Cellars for their Annual celebration of Noel’s Irish heritage. I didn’t get up in time to go to church so of course I felt guilty going anywhere else that day. However, I’ve been trying to get together with Kathy, Noel’s wife to give her some pictures that I gathered from TML for her to have. I picked Liz up about 2:45 and we headed to the party. It was such a beautiful day and I was honored that she invited me. I was so glad we went because I got to see some of his friends and family that I met at the funeral as well as meet new people. Kathy has lost a lot of weight but she looks wonderful. I hope Noel’s up there next to you so you can tell him (but I know he already knows) how good Kathy is doing. Evan was there also and he was doing great too. We left there at 6, but I was supposed to go eat fried shrimp and Jerry and Paula’s at 5:30 so I just called them and told them I was going home to check on Joey.

Joey wasn’t any better. I have to pick him up to get over the door ledge and carry him down the stairs outside to go pee and poop. I only see him drinking water, but I haven’t seen him eat in a few days. He looks miserable and I think he’s in a lot of pain. I of course am planning to take him to the vet tomorrow so I slept with him on the floor in the living room, not knowing if this would be our last night together or not. Talk about a hurt back when I got up. Thank the Lord, I was working from home that day, so I could slump around if I wanted to.

These are pictures of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration for Noel, The Irishman–RIP at Salt Lick Cellars. It was really a lot of fun. Liz is taking the pictures so you don’t see her.

March 16, 2019 – Day 369

Hi Honey! This day particularly is a sad reminder of last year. Today I’m going to pick up my WGC Uniforms, which is what I was headed to do last year, when we got the call that Dad was in the hospital and I needed to get to mom and dad’s to take care of mom. That’s the last time I kissed you good bye and went on my way to mom’s instead of picking up my uniform. Thank God I did kiss you and tell you good bye because there are too many times when we are in a hurry and just leave. That would be a terrible regret on me if I had just walked out without doing that. Joe did pick up my uniform (and yours) for us that day last year. So today, I got there about 11 a.m. and since this is our 4th year, everything runs pretty smooth. I was headed to Liz’s and we were going to look for light fixtures for my 2 bathrooms at Lowes and Habitat for Humanity but I started feeling nauseous so I called her to see if she’d eaten yet. That’s all I could figure out that was wrong with me even though I had my full cup of Bulletproof coffee which normally keeps me full till early afternoon. Anyway, she said she was eating shrimp cocktail and I could come eat that with her and she’d make me a hamburger patty. So I went straight there, but before I could finish the hamburger, I felt worse. I was very nauseous now and felt like throwing up. So instead of shopping, I headed home. I took about a 2 hour nap and watched the Players tournament for a little while. Went to bed early. No drinking or smoking this night.

Also, Joey woke up with his back right leg not working. It just hung there. But when I would move it, he didn’t cry or make a noise so I knew it wasn’t broken. He has jumped off of the bed onto the new hardwood floor several times since we got it and I just figured this time he hit wrong. It seemed to get worse as I was leaving for WGC to pick up the uniforms. I left him anyway which is why I think I started feeling bad because I was worried about him and felt guilty leaving him. he pretty much just lays there and pees and poops right where he is laying. I was scared to find out but I was thinking he was getting what Donna and Chuck’s dog got when she went paralyzed in the back legs. I knew if that were the case I was going to put him down. I didn’t want him to be in pain and this day he seemed to be in pain just because he shivered a lot–and was very quite. No wining! Nothing!

I love you!


March 15, 2019 – Day 368

Good Morning Honey! I got to sleep in a little later this morning because today is my FLEX FRIDAY! I remember how you could not keep my Flex Fridays and my Work From Home days straight. Today was a busy day today–for a flex Friday for me anyway.

I had a 10:00 a.m. appointment with Leti to do my roots.

I met Kelly at Good Times at Dry Creek (the old Cindy’s Gone Hog Wild) at 11:30.

Came home watch some golf and took a nap, then drove to South Wm. Cannon to Flores to have lunch and the twins who came in just for the night to visit.

Got home a stayed up way too late watch my new Netflix Binge favorite, Grace and Frankie! You wouldn’t like it but it is so good.

That’s all I got today. Good night! I love you!

March 14, 2019 – Day 367

Dear Ralphie! Today was rather uneventful for me. The most exciting part of my day was rushing home to watch Grey’s anatomy, but I ordered my groceries from Walmart and had to pick those up. So I missed the first part. Darnit.

Carly sent this picture of Cody playing with his new sister, Baby. I am so happy he is happy and not bored anymore. Love, Love, Love this.

I love you! I hope I have sweet dreams of you tonight!

March 13, 2019 – Day 366

So today, since I prepared myself thoroughly for March 10-12 to not be bad days, and they were not. I did really good and tried not to think about the day I found you but I think of all our good memories and the way you made me laugh until my stomach hurt. I sure do miss that funny man I married. I awoke this morning, just a little sad. Of course, I didn’t want to get out of bed and go to work. I just wanted to lay in the bed all day and do nothing. However, I said my usual morning prayer and asked God to get me up and moving and to make me a stronger person and that I am grateful I had you getting up with me for work for all the years that we did it together.

Of course, it was wet and gloomy, again. So I was already 30 minutes late leaving the house, and going to the car with my hands full, I slipped and fell. I fell hard on my right side and I was muddy. I was sure I hurt my elbow again, which the bruise from the fall 3 months ago was just starting to heel, and I though I had hurt my collar bone. So I didn’t ask, I just emailed Randy and Joe and said, I can work from home, take PTO, or half day of both, but I was not getting dressed again and coming to work. Hoe said work from home so that what I did. It is so nice to have a job that I love and a boss that is awesome and very flexible. This year it has definitely been a requirement.

Well I haven’t updated you on the bats for awhile. I saw some coming out of the opening under the gutters on the back of the house last night. So Lee, the bat guy came out today to seal that whole side with mesh. On a good note, I am pretty sure they are out of the garage and the North side wall, but they still wake me up every morning hitting that wall trying to get back in. Lucy loves that time of morning. She just sits on the ledge and tries swatting at them.  She thinks she is gonna grab one through that window.

Look what I go in the mail today. It was like Christmas in March for myself. I ordered these from Shutterfly a few weeks ago. I love them both.

My Ralph iPhone Case
My Ralph Memorial Garden Rock

Good night Honey. Lucy, Connie, Joey and the damn bats say good night too. I love you!

March 12, 2019 – Day 365

Honey, I can’t believe that today is 1 year since I found you on the back porch, face down, not breathing, otherwise you looked like you were sleeping. But you weren’t sleeping, you were dead. It’s been a rough year and I have had many ups and downs but it feels like mostly downs. I am proud that this day also makes me realize that I am a strong woman, a survivor, and a better child of God. I have more faith now than I ever had before you were gone. I just took so much for granite! I have to read the bible to figure out the answers to questions I have and usually there is no for sure answer, I just have to make it work for my needs at the moment. I really do not understand how people get through grief and the loss of a loved one but especially a spouse and best friend. That’s why I write you these love letters. I feel connected to you because I’m talking directly to you because I know you are living your eternal life in heaven. So it’s like you’ve gone on a very long trip and I write letters to you while you are away.It’s way more personal then journaling which I would have only lasted a week or so doing that.

So this morning I woke up asking Jesus to stand by me today and give me strength and to be strong. I will cry if I need to but I really just want to focus on work and get through the day. I thank God everyday for the 24 years he gave to us and let us be together and for the 3rd time in marriage, I finally made the correct choice and found you, my soul mate. Today was a good day for me, no tears, but I thought of you constantly. I texted Kori, Blake, and Ryan this morning to let them know i was thinking of them and I asked God to give them strength through today also. I want God to let these three adults know that their dad and step-dad loved them equally! He loved them as any other man would love his children and that he was always trying to help them if he could and if they needed him to. I also texted that I would not call until Wednesday so hopefully no tears would be shed over the phone. Blake was quick and said “I love y’all with all my heart”.  Ryan also just responded “I love y’all.  Kori, on the other hand texted back
So far so good, 37 minutes in”. She has the same humor as you do–God love her! I haven’t talked to her on the phone, but she texted and said she could not get out of bed and is so depressed. She said she did not realize that these days and the month of March was going to be so hard. I want to go to Lake Jackson to visit but we just can’t come up with a weekend that works.

Tonight was another great gift from God. Because of meeting my new friends from church that have Cody now, they invited me to their Community Group tonight. It is on the other side of Hwy 95 close to the lake area. There are some areas of Bastrop that when I see it for the first time, I think how did I not know this was here. This was one of those areas. All the couples are way younger than me and have young kids. Except for John and Alex, they have Carly who is 12 and she keeps the small kids and babies occupied while we are meeting. You would be so excited to know that Jason, the drummer at church,and his family are part of this group. I told Jason that you thought he was like a rock star because you were so impressed with him knowing and singing every single word of every song the worship team placed. I also told him that you could not wait to tell me that you ran into him one afternoon at the Exxon and got to introduce yourself. I laugh when I think of that day because you thought ya’ll were going to be best friends. I wished ya’ll would have been. We stood around the kitchen island and ate snacks which gave me an opportunity to get to know all of them. Then we just casually sat around the living room and discussed John 6 21:59 which is what Cody’s sermon was on Sunday. I didn’t make it to church on Sunday. I really think I’m a better fit with this group then I was with the last one. It’s just more relaxed.

So I though I was taking care of not being home alone that night to just sit, think, drink, smoke, and cry. Until I got home then, I did all of those things. I miss you my love! I hate that you are not on this earth with me again, but I am so happy that you are no longer in pain and full of bitterness and unforgiveness. Thank you Jesus for telling me that day to write down all of the versus that I could find in the bible that have to do with forgiveness and telling Ralph to read them and he did! Praise the Lord, so when you took him, he had done what he needed to do and forgiven his sister and father of their selfishness, dishonesty, disrepect and  unfaithful acts for Christians!

Good night I love you! My prayer tonight is to make me stronger in his eyes and his Word and to get me through another 365 days, one day at a time.


March 11, 2019 – Day 364

Hi Honey, It is one year ago this date that your soul left us and went to be with The Father, Our Lord and Savior. Of course I didn’t know you were gone at the time, because I was still at mom and dad’s house taking car of  her while Paula and Jerry were with dad at the hospital. However, I felt in my heart that something was very wrong because the last time I talked to you which was at midnight when you called to tell me goodnight. We didn’t talk all day Sunday (March 11, 2018), because you never answered my calls or called me back and that is very rare. Although not unusual because sometimes when I’m out of town, we could go a day or 2 without talking, but at least we played phone tag that kept me from worrying. This time I worried all day.

I woke up, and as I do every morning before I get out of bed, I prayed for strength to get up and go to work and for Jesus to hold my hand all day because my heart hurts all day. I prayed extra this morning that he would make today a good day and not a sad day and fill my thoughts with all the good memories of you and not just this one memory of this day that you went to Heaven.

I did get up out of bed and did my normal routine and made it to work. It was a very busy day which is always good because the day goes by faster and my mind doesn’t sit idle thinking about you constantly.

John texted about 1:00 p.m. and said they were on their way to pick up Cody! I had left a bag of dog food, food and water bowls, toys, treats, leash, flea/tick/heart worm medicine, blanket and pillow all inside his crate in the garage. John said he had to lift him up to get in the car. Cody, has not learned yet how to jump up into the car. Remember, before Jack got that dang arthritis, he could jump like nobody’s business into the back of the pickup?

When I got home, it was a little sad that he wasn’t waiting on the porch for me. I still hate driving down our driveway and I don’t see you sitting in your chair waiting for me to drive up! It still slips my mind that you won’t be there when I get home. But for Cody, I did not miss him jumping up on me while I’m trying to get out of the car and to get the door unlocked to the house. Carley sent me some pictures of Cody and that’s when I knew I had done the right thing for Cody. I could see in his little face how happy he is. He has a new home and family that love him as much as I do, but now he will have so much attention on him he won’t be begging for it anymore. It made my Monday Great!

I was only at home for 15 minutes then I had to go to my Griefshare class. I especially did not want to miss it tonight and I sure didn’t want to be home alone. Griefshare always helps me, every Monday, but I knew I would need it tonight. I even told them what today was and I didn’t even cry. When I don’t cry it does not mean I don’t miss you. I miss you every second every day. But Griefshare is helping me to understand that it’s God’s Plan! Not mine or yours and he knew the day and minute you would die on the day you were born. You were always his and only on loan to us. There is nothing I could have done to change the outcome. I am learning to accept this and it would be selfish of me to want you back here with me because I miss you, when you are living in Paradise with no pain and no bitterness and no hatred and back with your mom, dad, Patty, Mavis and grandmother and all that have gone before and after you. I know you are happy now but I only wish you would have been happy your last years here with us. It was hard watching you be so sad and bitter and in emotional pain.

March 10, 2019 – Day 363

Well, I guess I drank more than I thought after I got back to the room last night. I fell asleep before any of the girls got back a little after 2:00 a.m. and they ate, made all kinds of noise and talking for about an hour they said and I never heard anything. I slept right through 10:00 when Dana and Karen knocked on our door to say goodbye.   The first thing I thought of when I woke up is this is about the same time and same day that I kissed your sweet lips one year ago today. You were sitting in your chair on the back porch and I was leaving to pickup our uniforms for the WGC Tournament and you did not want to go with me. Then I got the phone call that dad is in the hospital and mom is very sick so I needed to go stay with her while Paula and Jerry were with dad. So I told  you the change of plans and wasn’t sure when I would be back home and kissed you goodbye and said I love you–for the last time ever. I sometimes wished I would have come back and kissed you and told you that I love you another time that morning.

When we got ready (which for me was hat on head, no makeup, and Tshirt & jeans) we ate at a place named Charlette Plummers. It is a seafood restaurant and I had crab cakes and they were good too! I don’t remember it being there before, but Paula said it’s been there for as long as she can remember. We started for our drive back to Dripping Springs when we finished eating there. It seems like the drive took forever. I don’t know why it always seems longer to get home! Tired and hungover I guess!  I think we stopped once but we were in Dripping Springs by 6:30 p.m. I think. I was home in Bastrop at 7:30 p.m.  It was such a fun trip. That was my first girls trip since you’ve been gone, other than the one with the sisters to Canton. I needed to get away for a little break and since I didn’t end up going to the family reunion last week, I didn’t mind asking Glory to watch the pets again this weekend. Two weekends in a row I feel bad, 1)for leaving the pets with no attention for 3 days, and 2)for asking Glory too often.

John texted me this morning to say that the meet and greet with their dog and Cody went wonderful. He said they think Cody is a perfect fit for the whole family. I texted back, when do you want to take possession? He said we could do it Wednesday night as we had orginally planned the meetup with both dogs or they could pick him up anytime.

All the animals were so excited to see me and I waited to text John back to answer his question until I got home to see Cody and to see how I felt about it.  I asked John if he would pick him up during the day because I didn’t want to be here and have to say goodbye! I make everything sad even though I know this is the right for their family and for Cody. I also thought it would be a good idea for Cody to get his new home on March 11, with the hope that I would have a good memory for that day instead of it always being the day you died. So that is what he said he would do.

Blake texted me today to say he loves me and thinking of me. Of course, I thought it was him saying, without saying, that this will be a hard week for us all, but it turns out that wasn’t it at all! I texted him right back to say that I will call he and Kori on Wednesday, intentionally not want to call and upset them on Monday or Tuesday this week.

Good night! I love you! I miss you!

March 9, 2019 – Day 362

I woke up feeling not too bad after drinking all day the day before and finally passing out. All the girls got up and took their showers, which left no hot water, did their hair, and put on makeup to go out in the gloomy, drizzly weather to watch the Oyster Fest Parade. I decided to hang out and watch TV instead. However I did get up and dress eventually because we were leaving to go see Paula and Jeff’s new house that they are buying in Aransas Pass and had to be there by 2:00. OMG! The right back window wasn’t working and gone down into the door panel and we couldn’t get it up. So we creatively taped plastic trash bags on it to keep the rain out. However, when Kim got on the highway at 65 mph,  that flapping noise was so loud! We couldn’t talk because we couldn’t hear anything but the bags. Thank goodness, Chase, Paula and Jeff’s son was there and he knows a lot about fixing cars, so he took the panel off and pulled the window back up. Then we taped it so it wouldn’t fall down again.

The little house that they are buying was being inspected so that how come we got to see it while it was open. Its very cute and the inspector said in very good shape for a 100 year old house. It’s like 4 minutes to fish and only 20 miles to Rockport. They are excited and I’m excited for them. It looks like more girls trips coming up.

We met up with Karen and her family at 5:30 to eat at the Boiling Pot. When we were done eating we all went back to the hotel room to get ready to head back over to the Oyster Fest grounds to do the same thing all over again. Drink, dance, laugh a lot, make fun of people, etc. This night was much different than the night before. There were way more people there and I think 4 different bands–each playing right after the other one. Because I had stuffed myself at dinner, there was no way I could drink enough beer to get drunk without being more bloated. Some of the girls were saying that I wasn’t near as much fun this night as I was last. I didn’t feel like dancing like we did the night before with each other. One man even asked me to dance and that made me sad and I sad no. I can’t see myself dancing with anyone but you. That could change someday, but it sure wasn’t happening that night. I could see you and I dancing in the living room like we often did and me stepping all over your toes. I just got sadder and really didn’t feel like being there. I was hangin’ but I wasn’t having fun really. Then, the dad-gum band played 3 Willie Nelson songs in a row. The first one was Angel Flying Too Low, which of course you know you sang that to me a lot. I can’t remember the 2nd song, but the last one was On The Road Again. Well, I lost it. I really could not listen to those songs without feeling you, hearing you, watching you sing them. I cried for a good 15 minutes before I took a key and went back to the room. Of course, I opened up my bottle of wine and cigarettes and drank until I fell asleep. I miss you so much baby that it hurts and this night was one of them. Sometimes I actually think I’m having a heart attack because my heart hurts so bad. I love you with all my heart-hurt and all!

PS: John texted me to tell me they had gone back over to my house to see Cody again. He said he hoped I didn’t mind if they were going over so much, but they want to make sure Cody is used to them if they adopt him into their family. I said to him then why don’t you take him to your house to meet their dog, Baby, and see how that goes. That is the only reason they haven’t said for sure that they would take him because we have to be sure they are a good match together.